Healthcare Professionals for Healthcare Reform

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Doctor and Patient, Now at Odds

Today’s NY Times Health section has a disturbing item about what I think we all have been noticing: patients are losing their trust in doctors. Personally, I think that this article only scratches the surface of the issue, especially at the causes:

The reasons for all this frustration are complex. Doctors, facing declining reimbursements and higher costs, have only minutes to spend with each patient. News reports about medical errors and drug industry influence have increased patients’ distrust. And the rise of direct-to-consumer drug advertising and medical Web sites have taught patients to research their own medical issues and made them more skeptical and inquisitive.
“Doctors used to be the only source for information on medical problems and what to do, but now our knowledge is demystified,” said Dr. Robert Lamberts, an internal medicine physician and medical blogger in Augusta, Ga. “When patients come in with preconceived ideas about what we should do, they do get perturbed at us for not listening. I do my best to explain why I do what I do, but some people are not satisfied until we do what they want.”
Others say the problem also stems from a grueling training system that removes doctors from the world patients live in.

Personally I think the problems are much more to do with the external pressures on physicians (e.g. insurance companies trying to optimize profits by limiting access to testing and services and potential malpractice suits) than their training or even the limited time.
Would love to hear from the group about this…


July 29, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Being pinched for time is turning out to be the Achilles’ heel for many physicians. Most doctors would like to spend more time with their patients but they are finding it increasingly more difficult because of the financial pressures on the medical practice. Our health care delivery system needs to be reformatted to allow doctors to once again spend quality time with their patients. Until then, any tensions that may exists between patients and their physicians will only continue to fester. Mark

    Comment by Healthcare Professionals For Healthcare Reform | July 31, 2008 | Reply

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